August 29, 1936 - Editorial - Economic Royalists, by George Lorimer

In his speech accepting the nomination for another term President Roosevelt laid especial stress upon the power which "economic royalists" have exercised in this country, and upon his determination to break up that power. He explained that these royalists had denied that government could do anything to protect the citizen in his right to work and live. "The economic royalists complain," the President went on, "that we seek to overthrow the institutions of America. What they really complain of is that we seek to take away their power." This would seem to imply that those who take exception to the New Deal are necessarily economic royalists, which is as absurd as it is untrue.

By "economic royalists" does Mr. Roosevelt mean all those who are rich? In that case he would have to include himself, for it is commonly understood that he was born with a background of larger wealth than the vast majority of his opponents will ever see. By economic royalists does he mean those who are or have been in Wall Street, in financial operations or in important corporate connections? In that case he would not only have to include himself, having formerly had such connections, but he would be obliged to include his friend Governor Lehman, of New York, whose re-election is considered so essential to New Deal success, because Governor Lehman was long a leading member of one of the largest, most active and most powerful firms of Wall Street bankers.

Certainly this Administration has been exceedingly inactive in bringing suits against monopolies under the extremely effective anti-trust law, having done even less in this respect than so-called conservative Republican Administrations. Indeed, there are those that believe that the New Deal, by promoting the NRA, gave monopoly its greatest single boost.

Thus all these platitudes about economic royalists lack clear-cut meaning, except so far as they are intended to create class hatred. Some time ago in this magazine Mr. Samuel G. Blythe declared that he had witnessed numerous attempts to set up class divisions since he began to study and write about politics in 1888. All these attempts, he explained, came from outside Washington except the present one, which is novel in that it originates within the Government itself. (pg.22)

Comments: All of the verbal attacks against "economic royalists" and such threw up a smoke screen so that public attention was diverted away from what FDR and his associates were doing to expand their power over the people. It wasn't the "economic royalists" who desired to enslave the people, it was FDR and his associates who wanted to accomplish this objective. Why Lorimer didn't see this, I don't know. Perhaps if the New Deal started taxing labor at, say, 10%, 20%, or 30 % instead of 1% maybe he would have.

Back to Old Weekly Press Table of Contents